The 2016 Holiday Fun Continues….

December officially kicks off the holiday season for some.  My family, on the otherhand, started celebrating before Thanksgiving.  Our decorations were up the weekend before and luckily I was able to locate a real tree the evening before hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our home.  Many of the activities this month are holiday themed and kicked off in November.   There are a few additions to this month’s lineup of activities.  As always, you can click on the title/link for more information.

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park – Tilles Park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with more than a million twinkling lights and various holiday scenes, including a special holiday wreath, a toy factory, holiday bells, a bubbling stream, a tunnel of lights, and of course, Santa and his reindeer, making it one of the most popular Christmas light displays in the area.  They also offer horse-drawn carriage rides through the park! We visited this one recently.  Check out our experience (here).

Hip Hop Nutcracker – The Hip Hop Nutcracker is an evening-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ and violinist. Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince, travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub.

Annie – The world’s best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of Annie will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original.  Annie includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.” 

Winter Festival Weekend – Make the season merry and bright when you visit the Saint Louis Art Museum on December 9-11 for Winter Celebrations! The Saint Louis Art Museum’s gift to you is a weekend of festivities for family and friends inspired by the warmth of the season and cultures near and far. You’ll find performances and art activities that are the traditions you love, and new experiences to delight and surprise. Discover wonderful works of art on your scavenger hunt and see our magical tree. It’s a weekend of joy!

Way of Lights – Wintertime sparkles at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows as the Annual Way of Lights Christmas display illuminates the grounds.  This breathtaking display focuses on the birth of Christ, the one true light of the world.

Magic House Breakfast with Santa – The Magic House hosts Breakfast with Santa on two Sundays in December. There are four seatings at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus are both on hand for the pancake breakfast. Kids also get the chance to make a holiday craft, and of course, spend a little time after breakfast enjoying the rest of the Magic House.

St. Louis Zoo Wild Lights – St. Louis Zoo Wild Lights will run from November 25th through December 30th this year.  Stroll through the Saint Louis Zoo’s enchanting holiday wonderland and enjoy 500,000 twinkling lights, illuminated animal displays, seasonal sounds and all kinds of festive fun. There may be a few animals there too…lol.  Have fun!!!

Anheuser Busch Brewery Lights – Anheuser-Busch invites you to celebrate the season at the brewery.  The event runs every Thursday through Sunday, November 17th through January 1, 2017 from 5pm – 10pm.  Experience the wonder of the Budweiser Clydesdales, s’mores roasting on an open fire, thousands of twinkling lights and one monumental display of holiday spirit.

Santa Express Train Ride – Union Station – The Santa Express Train Ride featuring ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” headlines the 2016 Holidays at St. Louis Union Station. Spectacular decor, North Pole Village activities, ice skating and a new fire & light show offer family fun all season long. The Santa Express Train Ride is the centerpiece of this expanded holiday event. Real trains pull out of St. Louis Union Station — the 1894 National Historic Landmark terminal — beginning November 18 and continuing through December 30, 2016. Trains will leave the station at 4:45, 6:15, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

Skate with SantaForest Park will be hosting Skate with Santa at the Steinberg Skating Rink.  Steinberg Skating Rink is the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Midwest, offering public skating all day, everyday.  You can skate with Santa from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m on Saturday, December 3rd.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom – Welcome to Santa’s Magical Kingdom where reindeer soar overhead, elves frolic in their village in the trees, and millions of lights dazzle your senses. Visit with Santa in his workshop at Kringle’s General Store. Ride the Santa Express Train or take an Old Fashioned Holiday Wagon through the Kingdom for a fun filled adventure the entire family will enjoy. They are located next to Six Flags in Eureka, Mo.

Christmas in Old Towne Florissant – Florissant marks the holiday season on Saturday December 3rd with a Christmas celebration in historic Old Town. The festivities begin with the arrival of Santa Claus at 2 p.m. and ends with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree at 5 p.m. There are also crafts, cookies and holiday music throughout the afternoon.

Snapshots with Santa at the Boathouse – Santa Claus is sailing into the Boathouse in Forest Park on Sunday, December 4. Stop by with your kids (and dogs) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a picture with St. Nick! Dine with us for brunch beginning at 10:00 a.m., and greet Santa as he arrives by boat at the Boathouse dock at 11:00 a.m.

Santa vs. The SnowmanThis holiday favorite is playing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at noon through Dec. 24 at the St. Louis Science Center. Santa vs. the Snowman tells the story of a lonely snowman who at first is swept away by the magical wonders of Santa’s Village, only to ultimately wage war on Santa because he’s jealous of all the attention Santa gets during the Christmas season. How will Santa handle the jealous Snowman?

Santa at the Carousel This event is held on Saturday December 10th at Faust Park.  Come ride the Carousel with Santa, make a reindeer ornament and enjoy a Christmas cookie.

Candy Cane LaneDrive through Candy Lane located on Murdoch Avenue in St. Louis, MO. This Christmas light display attracts hundreds of families and raises money for charity each year.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – Based on the award-winning novel by Kate DiCamillo, “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” follows the adventures of a toy china rabbit who only loves himself as he is ripped from the arms of the little girl who adores him, and thrown into a life-changing adventure. The perfect way to celebrate the warmth of the holiday season at the Missouri History Museum.

Christmas Traditions Festival – This annual month long festival celebrates the best of the holiday season. This event is held in Historic St. Charles.  From the boisterous cheer of our legendary Christmas figures and joyful singing of our harmonious carolers, to the unique shopping and dining opportunities found along the festival decorated brick lined streets, Christmas Traditions offers something special for everyone. And with over 40 years of the favorite holiday tradition, there has never been more to experience!

Jazz for the Holidays – This annual production showcases holiday classics with a jazzy flair. The evening features such classics as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Jingle Bells” and selections from A Charlie Brown Christmas. This event will be held on Sunday, December 4th at 3pm.  There will be additional song selections, concert organizers promise exciting new music that will be enjoyed by all! Jazz for the Holidays features the combined sound of the UMSL Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jim Widner, Vocal Point conducted by Dr. Jim Henry and the University Orchestra. This concert is free and open to the public.

Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show – This event takes place at the Missouri Botanical Gardens November 19th through January 1st. The annual Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show delights visitors of all ages with G-scale trains of many eras traveling along 900 feet of track through a miniature holiday landscape. It’s made up of festive decorations and thousands of fresh plants, accented by beautiful poinsettias and flowers.

Six Flags Holiday in the Park – Six Flags St. Louis is hosting Holiday in the Park this year.  This event will be held November 25th – January 1st.  The park will be transformed into a winter wonderland with colorful lights, decorations, and performers.  We attended this event on opening night.  Click (here) to see our experience.

As you can see there is so much holiday fun to be had.  Get started early if you want to hit everything on the list.  Our goal is to hit one activity a weekend.  

Let us know which ones you want to visit.  Happy Holidays from our family to yours.  May your holiday season be filled with fun and funds.  Enjoy and be safe.

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